Spotlight on Sweden
Sweden is home to some of the largest retail brands in the world and one of the first brands that spring to mind is the homewares giant IKEA. Closely followed by the H&M Group and it’s fashion empire.
Discover some of the latest innovative trends that the Scandinavian country has to offer and how they’ve been adapting to the on-going pressures of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Automated grocery stores
Consumers living in remote parts of rural Sweden where conventional stores and supermarkets have closed down can now use their mobile phones to buy goods 24 hours a day at automated, unmanned grocery stores operated by Swedish retail start-up Lifvs.
Once they have downloaded the company’s app and linked a valid payment card, customers access their local store by unlocking the door with a tap on their screen, select the goods they want to purchase, scan them using a barcode and confirm payment in the app.
“We are open 24 hours a day and prices can be kept down because the shops are unmanned,” the company says. “Instead of queuing at a checkout, you scan your goods with the phone and pay with the push of a button in our app.
“We are just like other grocery stores. Hundreds of items you recognise in different categories from everyday to party goods.”
Lifvs is opening the stores, which are housed in containers, in clusters of between four and six outlets so that each cluster can be stocked and maintained by a single member of staff.
More than 20 stores are up and running and the company says it plans to open “at least 300 small, smart and unmanned convenience stores where they are needed most”.
Central and Smaller targeted stores
To be able to meet customers with relevant offers in more places, Lager 157 is now developing a new uptempo concept in central Stockholm.
Warehouse 157 is primarily established in external retail areas in premises of approximately 2,000 square meters where the entire range is housed. While the rental market in Norway and Finland is perceived as hesitant in relation to current retail patterns, Lager is taking 157 new creative paths to drive the pace of development at home. The company is now establishing a focused city establishment in the Gallerian on Hamngatan in Stockholm.
“We want to create something new in a changing retail world, a creative uptempo concept with interchangeable content where we can meet customers with really relevant offers at all times. It should work in places other than our full range, “says Stefan Palm, CEO and creative director at Lager 157.”
The store, which is on two floors with a total of 1200 m 2 , opened on 25/9.
Lager 157 calls the concept 157 Exchange and states that Galleriabutiken will be a city destination for outdoor clothing for children on the ground floor and a unique denim offer on the street level.
E-commerce platforms supporting physical stores
NK, which is one of Stockholm’s most premium department stores, has created an online offering which was originally planned for 2021, but accelerated due to the pandemic.
“Via an e-commerce platform, we can provide increased service to existing customers and get an opportunity to reach new customers. We know that there is great interest in NK’s selected range around Sweden and now we get the chance to welcome everyone. “The new NK.se will also be a new strong communication channel where we can offer inspiration, show the range digitally and strengthen the relationship with our customers”, says Henrik Andreasson, CEO of Nordiska Kompaniet.
The platform is being rolled out in stages across the various departments.
The warehouse is located in the Stockholm department store and customers choose whether they want deliveries to their door, to their postal agent or if they want to pick up the product at Customer Service Stockholm or Gothenburg.